NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man accused of killing his 3-year-old stepdaughter in Queens faced a judge Wednesday afternoon.
Marc Jenkins, 32, is expected to be arraigned on second-degree murder and assault charges in connection with the death of 3-year-old Bella Edwards.
Authorities say Jenkins called 911 around 6 p.m. Monday after he had been alone with the child and her 3-month-old sibling for about eight hours.
When officers arrived, they found the stepfather performing CPR, but Bella was unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The Medical Examiner said she died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen, according to authorities.
“We believe she bled to death,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.
Sources say Bella had extensive bruising on her body and there were also signs she was allegedly sexually abused. Both Bella and her 3-month-old brother were in Jenkins’ care for eight hours on Monday.
Police say surveillance video from the Seaside apartment building where they lived shows Jenkins took the children for a car ride that afternoon. When they returned two hours later, it was clear Bella was not okay.
“When we saw the child coming into the building at 4:30 pm she appeared to be in some kind of distress,” Boyce said. “It’s hard to articulate.”
Boyce added police believe the assault happened at some point during the car ride. When Jenkins made his first appearance appearance in court Wednesday, prosecutors said it was “hard to imagine a more violent and horrifying scenario.”
“This is a terribly disturbing case. The victim here is an innocent little girl, whose body revealed traumatic abuse injuries,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Bella’s family members in the courtroom yelled at Jenkins, calling him a “monster” and hoping for him to be fed “to the wolves.”
While Bella’s family had no prior history with the Administration for Children’s Services, police say they were called twice to the home in the past year for non-violent arguments between Bella’s mother, Shamikaa Gonzalez, and Jenkins.
Police say Gonzalez is in shock.
“She was surprised when this happened,” Boyce said. “You can understand her feelings right now.”
Jenkins remains held on bail under suicide watch. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.